Chris's Reviews > Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
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's review
Mar 11, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery, horror, scary

Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who’s the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture?

Ali figures she’ll find out while she’s vacationing in Maine with Dulcie and her four-year-old daughter, Emma, in the house where Ali’s mother’s family used to spend summers. All hopes for relaxation are quashed shortly after their arrival, though, when the girls meet Sissy, a kid who’s mean and spiteful and a bad influence on Emma.

Strangest of all, Sissy keeps talking about a girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances back when Claire and Dulcie were kids, and whose body was never found. At first Ali thinks Sissy’s just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry

My Comments:
This was a disappointing book. Although the author initially tries to keep Sissy's identity a secret, it was obvious to me who she was from the very beginning. I didn't particularly like the characters. The adult sisters were involved in Sissy's (Theresa's) death when they were young girls and didn't "fess up". The sisters don't really get along now and the main character, Ali, thinks her mother is timid, afraid and always has headaches. Certain scenes are repeated over and over without moving the story forward, such as Sissy showing up and making trouble - are they merely filler?
One thing I particularly did not like was Sissy sleeping in Ali's bed with her. Was this really necessary? Geeze. I didn't like this book very much because it seemed to follow too much of a formula. This is the first Mary Downing Hahn book I have read, and I know she is a popular author. I'll probably have to read another one of her books just to see if her other books are better. In other reviews I have read about this book, it says that this book is exactly the same plot as an earlier one - Wait Until Helen Comes.

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